L.E.G.I.T. Summer Week 3ish: GOALS

“Week 3ish” is a Kristen Nan way of saying I was caught up in the joys of my L.E.G.I.T. Summer and the days got away from me!  Can you say the same?  If so, we are both on the right path.  It’s kind of crazy when you stop and think about how much joy comes from the summer when you stop and take it in.  I have been embracing…

the sun,

more time in the day (okay, at least we get more daylight in our days),

the more relaxed vibe of having time to stop or pick up and go,

the scent of something yummy cooking on the grill,

the sounds of laughter as the kids are running around playing freely,

and the opportunity to write a bucket list!

At the start of summer, I headed to Bakersfield, one of my favorite places in downtown Pittsburgh’s Cultural District.  The street tacos are amazing and the organic Margaritas are truly refreshing.  I always feel alive as I walk in… the upbeat vibe puts a smile right on my face and the friendly service keeps me coming back for more.  Even better is the company I take with me.  This particular adventure was with my dear friend Tammy.  We sat and laughed and talked about the months ahead.  We both agreed that a bucket list of joys was a call to action moment for each of us.

Oh yes, the G in L.E.G.I.T. is for Goals.  This summer I decided mine would come in the form of buckets, just likes the ones a mentor of mine challenged me to fill during the school year.  So we made our lists and off we went.  At times we flew solo on our own journeys and at times we conquered the list together.  Either way, the goal was to not just look for joy, but to create it.  My list started something like this:

  1. When a friend calls, drop the laundry and go!
  2. Head to Pittsburgh as much as possible
  3. Summer Concert
  4. Bike ride on the Montour Trail
  5. Time by the water
  6. Meet up with my friends I haven’t seen in awhile
  7. Go to Phipps Conservatory to view the beautiful flowers
  8. Work out
  9. Eat breakfast at Waffles Incaffeinated
  10. Make time to write my book

Well, the list is coming along great!  I have accomplished a lot of other things too like cleaning out the top and bottom of the garage (WOWZERS).  The reality is, if I wouldn’t have intentionally made time for this simple list of obtainable goals, I may have let the summer slip right through my fingers.

My summer isn’t the only area of my life that I have created goals.  I have a list that I am generating for the fall when I return to my other family… my school family.  I cannot wait to try new things that I have learned this summer and I look forward to filling buckets with my students.  It is moments like this that always remind me that in order to dream big, I must be willing to take action.  The simplest dreams are only that if we do not take time to bring them to fruition.

Set goals

Fill those buckets… mine’s half full, what about you?

 

The EDURelevance In Social Media

Two, maybe three years ago now, I opened my first social media account.  Not because I wanted to, but because I was challenged to do it by my then new assistant superintendent Jacie Maslyk.  She had a reason.  A purpose.  Relevance!  Behind her challenge was… GET CONNECTED!  Connect to other educators.  See what the world is doing WITHOUT you!  The relevance behind that one simple challenge gifted me a new life in education.  A new life for me.  A new life for my students.

Opening my Twitter account was not an easy task for me.  I seriously had no clue what I was doing.  However, my teenage son did and after chuckling a few times that his mom was about to “connect” with the world he was living in, he gave me a hand.  From that point forward, Trent and I had a new connection too.  My purpose may have been slightly different than his, but we had common ground to share in conversation.  This one platform led to every single opportunity that has unfolded for me to date.

Every part of my PLN.

Every conference I have attended.

Most every idea that I have taken into my classroom.

Every single book I have read, starting with my first… Innovator’s Mindset by George Couros.  That one book has led to over 30.  That one book has led me to connect with educators all over the world through IMMOOC.  That one book set me on fire and gave me purpose to find conferences connected to this network of incredible educators.  That one connection pushed me to…

be a better me.

offer a first ever book study in my district for fellow teachers.

build relationships and value their importance.

take risks.

reflect.

Yet, the naysayers still pushed back on teachers putting themselves out there on social media.  So, I felt as long as I stayed on Twitter and journeyed as an educator, I could at least defend myself.

What to the what?  Defend myself?  Defend relevance to my growth?

My family kept asking when I would jump on Facebook so I plunged right in… relevance.  Family ties, enough said.

Then I started to blog.  Oh wow, was this relevant to my world.  I have always loved to write, but lost the time to do so when juggling mom, wife, and teacher.  Not to mention all the other relationships I attempted to hold on to… but in order to share my blog I needed social media connections.  Perfect, I got this!  I was already on Twitter with other educators.  Facebook connected me with family, but why not educators too?  So I went on the search for my global network of #eduawesomeness.   Wow, another moment forward for me.

You are not on Instagram?  Friends asked me this often, but I felt I had enough to juggle and already had great connections so I was okay without.  Then came George’s newest adventure… A Book Study on Instagram!  What?  Come on George… I’ve been in the last 3 with you on Twitter and Facebook… can’t we just use those platforms?  Ummmmm… NO!

Risks

Relationships (L.E.G.I.T. Relationships)

Relevance

Triple Threat… jump in or be left behind!

Time to GROW AGAIN!

I logged onto Instagram 2 days ago.  Created an account.  Asked my son Trent AGAIN, to give me a hand.  This time he didn’t chuckle.  He smiled.  Then he said mom, that’s cool… now follow me!

#relevance #growth #gift

 

L.E.G.I.T. Summer~Week 2 EMPOWER

There is no other way to enter the 2nd week(end) of my summer journey, than with EMPOWERment!  Such an incredible word with so much meaning.  Something I must create.  I find myself talking endlessly about it with my students, colleagues, friends, and family, yet I have fallen short on walking the walk at times.  With many articles, books, and blogs on this one topic, along with living life, I feel I have narrowed down the top 4 ways that I can make this happen and in turn it may just be what others are looking for too.

The E in L.E.G.I.T. is what I need to move forward.  To create opportunities.  To feel confident.  To own my summer!

The E stands for: EMPOWER and move forward.  Try these top 4 ways that are guiding me on my journey:  

  1.  Take A Time Out!  BOOM! Tap out… take the phone off the hook.  Set your cell phone on vibrate.  Shut down the computer.  Take a day away from networking.  Do not put anything, I repeat ANYTHING, on your calendar!  Say no… to whatever it is that wants to schedule your day for you.  Then ask yourself… what creates joy for you?  Whatever that is… GO DO IT!
  2. Give Yourself Permission and Release The Guilt!  Do it WITHOUT saying sorry.  Do it without regrets.  Do it without thinking or overthinking.  There will always be someone or something that could take your attention, tis life.  But it is YOUR life… one chance.  A better you creates a better you to share with others.  Take care of yourself.  This doesn’t have to be at the cost of others or quite frankly the financial cost of your family.  I’m not suggesting jetting off to the islands (although if you want to call me we can talk), I am simply saying that empowering yourself to make decisions about your day without any obligations is okay.  No Regret!
  3. Forgive!  Most often this word is used when thinking of others.  When you have wronged someone or have fallen short and need to ask for forgiveness.  This time I am talking about YOU… YOURSELF.  I’m talking about ME… MYSELF!  I am so far from perfect it literally makes me chuckle and then sigh.  I mess up a lot.  I fall short as a mom, wife, daughter, sister, friend, neighbor, teacher, community member and the list goes on and on.  What I don’t do well is forgive myself.  I say it to myself… I lift it up to God, but then I hold on to it like I deserve to be punished or something.  I didn’t always do that, but as time moved on I found myself living the life I wanted in place of what others wanted for me, or from me, and in turn I have did this (and still do at times).  I must take the time to acknowledge my imperfections that I must walk this earth with… and forgive myself.  When I do that, my shoulders are lighter, my body is less tense, my heart doesn’t hurt, my smile is bigger, and I can share a better me with others!   However, if you find yourself needing to forgive someone… do it.  Life is simply to short.  Your heart will thank you… your soul will love you, and I am certain your mind will open up even bigger for joy to come in.
  4. Find Your Joy and Share It!  Once you have it, don’t keep it to yourself… GIVE IT AWAY!  This is when the magic happens and your joy begins to multiply!  The thing is, when you empower yourself… I mean truly take care of yourself without guilt, joy will find a way in.  That joy is a sparkle waiting to shine for others.  It is a feeling inside that nurtures the soul.  Joy is magnificent.  Find it, love on it, and then pass it along.

This past week I took a time out and shut off my phone… not for an entire day, but for a few hours.  It was a start.  I kept my computer on to blog… my passion.  I read a lot!  I had coffee on my patio.  I created a few ideas I had in my head.  I found my balance.

I gave myself permission and turned down a few invitations that came my way, not because I wanted to, but more so because I wasn’t sure how to fit them in to my already packed day.  Before, I would have tried to make it all happen… at the cost of myself or my family.  This week I didn’t.  I took an afternoon with my boys and let them lead the way… this brought me joy.  Listening to their ideas, stories, goals, and dreams was music to my ears.  My heart was light and full all at them same time.  I gave myself permission and did not allow guilt to settle in to my mind.

As for forgiveness, this was a little tricky.  I had this intense feeling of guilt related to my mother in law‘s passing.  It wasn’t the kind of guilt that was meant to happen, but it did.  Mom wanted to die at home, a place that she found comfort and love.  With this wish came responsibility on us as a family.  It meant bringing in hospice, something that no one was ready for, but I knew it was the only way to honor her wish.  So I did.  This in itself brought on heavy feelings for every one of us and I was the one making it happen.  Then came the emergency comfort kit of medication.  The one that scared each of us for an abundance of reasons.  This was the kit that would bring her comfort, but also the one that would be helping her to end her life… comfortably.  I knew I had to understand it… to learn about each one and when they needed administered.  So I did.  Then the morning came that I talked dad into going to church because he needed to take time for himself.  This was the day that mom’s breathing took a horrible turn for the worse.  I went to the kit and found the right one.  I gave it to her.  She found comfort and fell asleep immediately.  My heart knew where we were at with this journey and my mind didn’t know how to prepare everyone else.  When mom awoke, I told her what happened.  I explained to her that this was going to happen more often and ultimately the mediation would help her from suffering these last days here on earth.  She held my hand.  We both knew what was unfolding.  We sat together.  Prayed together.  Learned as much about “life” as she could possibly teach me to be able to help dad once she was gone.  Once dad was home, she sent me to the store (the worst trip I ever made hoping that she would be there when I returned).  She had to buy her boys their Valentine’s.  She needed one for her precious grand-kids Trent and Jack, but also for dad.  Whatever she needed I promised to make it happen.  I returned and helped her prepare her cards.  She didn’t want me to leave that night, but dad needed his time (little did we know this would be her last night).  The next morning I arrived to another hard turn in her path.  I went into action and continued to administer all of her medication until her final breath that day.  My mind knows I did what she wanted and what she needed, but my heart has not been on the same page.  My own heart feels her absence and with each member of my family hurting I have placed guilt on myself for “being the one” to take her away from them.  I never blamed the cancer… not once.  I somehow took it all and placed it on myself.  I know that sounds so crazy, but I’m owning it.  The logical side of me says there is no reason to forgive myself, but somewhere in my heart I needed to act on it and I have.  I am not a nurse.  With all my resources around me, nothing in life could have possibly prepared me to take on such a huge responsibility, but I did.  My love saw no other option.  She was my rock and for once she needed me to be hers.  On this very day, I am letting it go… I am crying out my guilt so that I can lighten my heart and continue on my journey for joy.  It is time.

I am finding my joy… this blog is a start.

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What Brings You Joy?

With week one of my  L.E.G.I.T. Summer Journey unfolding I stopped to reflect on my happiness.  What truly brings me joy?  Have you asked yourself this question?  When you think of the feelings that come with the word joy,  you know why it starts right here.  If we can’t find our own joy, how will we possibly bring it to others?

IMG_6089I started thinking about this on our first camping trip of the season this past weekend.  We arrived and I walked out into the sunlight.  The sun hit my face.  It wasn’t a brilliantly hot day like the week before.  No, this was 74 degrees with sunshine that warmed your skin with just the right amount of heat.  The wind blew at a steady pace… just enough to cool the heat of the sun.  It was as if the wind was talking to me… whispering it was time to stop.  Stop, turn off the to do list, the need to have it all done, the desire to do it all, the need to find answers to everyone’s worries.  Just stop.  So I did.

I took a walk.  Without music.  I let nature do the talking and it was absolutely magical to listen to it’s story unfold.

I went for a bike ride.  There is nothing as carefree as a simple bike ride.  It takes you back to being a child.  Learning to balance that cumbersome piece of metal and then eventually taking the risk to ride it without touching the handlebars.  Wind flying through your hair.  So joyful!

I sipped piping hot coffee that I only get when camping… perked fresh with my husband’s grandfather’s peculator.  The bold flavor is like no other.  It starts your day with a little extra love.  A little extra joy.

I took time to blog.  Something that at times makes me feel guilty.  Why?  Because it is a passion of mine and when I embrace my passions I get lost in them.  Literally, I can tune out a freight train.  I can eliminate all other thoughts from rolling through my head.  I can go full steam ahead without hearing my name called.  This is my own rabbit hole of joy.  At times it can separate me from others.  I can get so lost in my own thoughts that I must get them out.  Writing is a passion… my joy!

IMG_6104I watched the sun set.  I honestly don’t remember the last time I chose to do that.  A gift right in front of me every day and I am too busy to embrace it.  It was such a spectacular sight.   Not just the sunset itself, but the people I was watching it with.  The silence.  The appreciation.  The lapping of the waves as we each took in the beauty before us.

I read a book.   I took along 3 books because I never quite know what it is I’m looking for until I sit down to actually read.  This is a book I had had since winter, but it seemed to get juggled around amongst the 30 new books I had acquired.  I flipped it over and read the backside… I needed a quick reminder of  it’s purpose.  There it was… the book for me.  Not just any book, but one that spoke to me.  I dug into “Unmapped Potential” by Julie Hasson and Missy Lennard.  I was convinced that these 2 women wrote this book just for me… they could relate to my feeling of “being overextended, discouraged, and stressed” at times.   They had me reflecting on my mental  map and how it shapes my thoughts and actions.  The quote that resonated with me does not need an intro.  It doesn’t need elaborated on.  And it may not even need discussion for that matter.  Simply reflect…

“The energy you give to others comes back to you.” -Purposeful Principals

What energy are you giving?

What energy are you creating?

What brings you joy?

Choose-Joy

I woke up yesterday, feeling rejuvenated.  Feeling like I could give my time to others in whatever way I was needed.  I don’t always feel that way.  Not that I am not a joyful person because that I am, but because I rejuvenated my joy.  I put on my own oxygen mask so that I could help others.  I breathed in deeply.  I made myself happy without strings attached.  No guilt.  No worry.  No regret.  What makes you happy?

Go out and do it… rejeventae your joy!

Find your joy!

Choose joy!

Share your joy!

 

L.E.G.I.T. Summer~Week 1

Here I am 3 weeks into summer vacation and I am finally starting to feel it unfolding. Maybe more like I’m settling in to the relaxed vibe that the word summer exudes.  When I think of a legit summer I think of the sun shining down on my face and the hours of the day getting mixed up in my mind where I start losing count until my stomach tells me it is past lunch or maybe even dinner.  Where no one seems to care how the day unfolds as long as we each have voice in the unfolding… where we meet each other where we are at.  Oh, the possibilities!  It’s been years since I had a summer opened up to possibilities, one that can refuel my passions and spark new ones along the way.  This is my summer!

Today starts my 5 week  L.E.G.I.T. Summer Journey with ME, MYSELF, and I.  This is what I need to be a better me.

A better me serves others greater.

A better me leads in an outstanding way.

A better me ignites the passion in my learning as well as others.

I need to remember how to find my joy, my smile, my heart, and simply my love for life.  Not that I lost it completely, but at times I find my own joy secondary when it is actually possible to nurture both at the same time.  As many know, this past year I lost my precious friend, my confidant, my mother in law, my go to person.  Some may think enough time has passed.  Many remind me she is in a better place so I should not feel so bad.  Some even think that it may be easier because I have the summer off to focus on relaxing and regrouping.  I only wish others would stop speaking for me.  Stop thinking for me.  Just stop.  I wish others would not try to remind me about the beautiful place she is in without me.  I miss her.  I am lost without her each day… especially on each family adventure because it is yet another “first” alone with the boys… all 4 of them, including my beloved father in law.  I am trying, but my girl is gone and I sit here alone in my thoughts trying to take in the goodness around me.  Trying to put on the smile that so easily swept my face when she was by my side.

My thoughts take me back to another person’s story.  When I first heard this young man speak, my heart ached for him.  I remember just wanting to hug him.  After losing mom, I went back to YouTube and searched for the video again.  Crazy how I thought he knew how I felt. Someone I had never met.  Never even talked to.  Yet, by sharing his story he entered my heart.  Just like him, I was jealous… she was gone from me. Happy.  Happy without me.   I found that this video met me where I was at… uncomfortably jealous, wishing the best that this world had to give, and yet knowing it was not enough.

Starting with the L in L.E.G.I.T. is what I need most, as that in itself can make or break anyone!

The L stands for: LOCATE their coordinates- meet them where they are at!

I chuckle at the thought… how do I meet myself where I am at if I don’t even know that answer myself?  I feel like my very own GPS has gone ROGUE and is spinning around  signaling that I am off the grid.  How do I locate myself?  To me it starts with one question!

What brings me joy?  When you think of the feelings that come with this one word, than you know why it starts right here.  If I can answer this question I will at least know where to start on this journey.

  1. Start simple.  As simple as fresh air… it clears my mind.  The kind that you get when you sit on your porch and sip your first cup of coffee in the morning.  The kind that you breath in when you are on a walk when there is barely a sign of life around you.  The kind that blows through your hair as you sit close by the water and allow your mind to drift off into the place that holds your heart… your soul.
  2. Laughing… I need people around me who lift me up with their simple abundance of joy.  My true person is silly.  Prior to the worries of others, I was a “jokester”, or maybe the joke!  I do not need a circus act, I just need life’s humor that reminds us to not take things so seriously.  I need those who don’t overthink my actions or attempt to outdo the ones around us, but just live in the moment… simple silly fun.
  3. Love… the kind that is unconditional.  The kind that allows me to be me and does not cast judgement.  The kind that doesn’t ridicule my passions, but steps out of the way so that I can relish in them.  The kind that puts their hand out and holds mine when I am a little unsteady.  The love that knows a hug solves most every problem.  The kind that I held on to my entire life, even when the darkness of clouds tried to threaten me with storms.  I will always reach out to goodness… it is my survival skill.  It is what created the person I am today.  The purest of love is true goodness.
  4. Growth… as much as I like to relax and take in the quiet beauty of nature, I must have opportunity around the bend for growth.  Whether I am headed to a conference, a workshop, reading a blog or an eduFAVE book, I need to be gaining ground in my own world.  I love to write.  It isn’t just a passion for me, it is a survival skill.  When I was a child I needed it.  I need ONE trusting “person” to pour my soul to.  I needed ONE “person” in my corner.  I needed “ONE” to tell me NEVER give up!  That I should dream… DREAM BIG and MAKE IT HAPPEN!   That ONE was my writing.  For me, keeping it in was debilitating.  Not letting it out in search of better was keeping me stagnant… being stagnant is suffocating for me.  I need to know there is more out there AND that with hard work I can obtain it.  When I write it, it becomes real and I own it.

These are my coordinates… Simple… Silly… Loving… Growth.  They are all built on relationships.  I am blessed with so many incredible people in my life.  Beyond family, I have the gift of my PLN/PLF.  My PLN meets me where I am at.  They accept me, push me, laugh with me, love me, grow with me, and celebrate with me!   Life is good.  #Tlap  #LeadLAP  #MasteryChat  #REALedu  #IMMOOC  #CelebratED  #JoyfulLeaders  #4OCFpln  #TeachBetter

What are your coordinates?  Share… tell your story.  Let’s meet and grow together!

 

Be On Time For Life

“Be on time for life!”  What a powerful statement to hear from academy award-winning actor Benicio Del Toro, as he addressed the 2018 graduating class at his Alma Mater, Mercersburg Academy.  I was honored to be a guest at this celebration… watching with pride as my god-daughter Madeline Lauther graduated with goals, ambition, and an undeniable drive to make life better with the opportunity she has been given.

IMG_5579It may have been one of the hottest days this spring.  A blazing 87 degrees at 11 am in the open courtyard of the academy, yet I sat glued to every word Del Toro spoke.  He found a way to meet the graduates where they were on their journey.  He took his own experiences in life and related them to the mindset they most likely were in… the one racing so that you are not late for life.  Questions loomed in their eyes.  Fears were evident.  Yet the excitement surrounding opportunity was unmistakable and inspiring.  I walked away feeling that if every 18 year old could hear these words of wisdom, they would be better for it.  This was not about which college of university they were going to attend.  This was not about a higher education.  This was not about the elite or the privileged.  This was about life.  This was about T.R.U.E. G.R.I.T.  Let me share some  quotes that resonated with me:

“Why give up before trying.”

“Re-imagine the line… have conviction!”

“If you don’t believe in it, why would I?”

“Turn frustration into accomplishment.”

“Lead movements of change.”

“Understanding where someone is coming from is the start to knowing where you are going.” 

IMG_5593Del Torro may be an award-winning actor, but that wasn’t where his focus was while at the academy.  He was a basketball star and an artist.   He had no idea that acting would be his path.  He himself felt like he was late for life on more than one occasion.  The quotes above that he shared were powerful… not because they came from an actor, but because they are L.E.G.I.T. .

To truly appreciate the humbleness that comes from this man, let me share his view on himself.  Del Toro says, “I like to take things very slowly. When you start to become a movie star, it’s easy to believe that you are Superman. That can fool you. That’s why I prefer not to pay much attention to fame. The truth is that I don’t give it much thought. I don’t suffer. I don’t hang my photographs on the wall. Without realizing it, you can enter a vicious circle and think that you really are a superhero. That’s the moment when you get yourself in real trouble.”

Then this happened…

“THERE IS NO-ONE LIKE YOU AND NO-ONE WILL EVER BE YOU!” -Benicio Del Toro

mic drop!

ce4b7048-77b0-42db-b80c-a849d91d1465.jpegNo one like you… wow!  So profound… truth!  That is how I viewed each graduate as they walked onto the sacred grassy platform to which they only step upon for graduation day.  Every single graduate dressed in their own style… their own vision… their own voice.  The appreciation of individual differences was most evident when Valedictorian, Xiang “Victor” Li replaced his speech with something that he had passion for… music.  He shared with each of us, ““I have always hated speeches because I have never figured out where the thin line between meaningfulness and cringiness lies, so, pretty much what I’m saying now is I can’t and I won’t do a speech.”  In turn, this is a snippet of the gift he shared with all who attended…

Passion fuels the fire in each of us.

L.E.G.I.T. relationships support these passions.

Be on time for life! 

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My god-daughter, Madeline Lauther

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L.E.G.I.T. Relationships

Here I am ready to host my first twitter chat.  Some may think, come on Kristen what’s the big deal?  Me on the other hand, well I see the big picture… the one that was built on L.E.G.I.T. relationships. Built on trust.  This is a big deal to me.  This chat isn’t just a chat for me.  It is an affirmation of my growth.  It signifies that I have taken myself and I have stretched my own limits.  The ones that I bound myself by in my own mind. #TRUST

I thought I used to put myself out there by going to conferences or signing up for local workshops.  Going to a conference is great, but let’s get real… it isn’t enough.  It isn’t the conference itself that creates a new path for your learning, it’s the relationships you build while attending them and then continue to nurture beyond that point.  The conversations that drive you to reconsider your own view point or maybe even your own philosophy.  But even then I  would find myself returning to school… to my room… to my own little ol’ opinion without ever seeing or talking to those educators ever again.

Fast forward… 2016 became the year that I found myself needing more.  So much more in fact that if I didn’t find what it was that I was searching for, I would consider leaving the profession that once filled my cup on a daily basis.

This was the year

… the walls of my own learning broke down.

… that I reached out.

… I found that I had a world of educators waiting in the wings to move forward with me. #LEGITeduRelationships

Twitter itself has been a springboard to so many incredible relationships.  Ones of inspiration and of immense respect.  This is where I met the foundation to my #PLF (As my friend Tara Martin dubbed it… Professional Learning Family) in #IMMOOC.  A Massive Online Community of Educators pushing the mindset to create change for the better.  This community was formed around the inspiration and leadership of George Couros, author of Innovator’s Mindset.  When IMMOOC came to an end, I had to find myself another book… another group of educators to add to my world… the ones willing to push one another as #IMMOOC did for me.  That is when #tlap was sent my way.  The fuel to my fire was right in front of me.  With one simple Amazon search I had Teach Like A Pirate, written and published by Dave Burgess, in my hands the very next day.  This is when the snowball started to roll…

I located my own coordinates on learning and found educators around the world to learn and grow with me.  I questioned the coordinates of my students,  parents, colleagues, administration, and community… was I meeting them where they were at?  I empowered myself to take charge of my own learning.  This was when I realized it had to happen for my students too!  #30SecondEmpowerPitch was born!  Yet, when I had a conversation with an incredible mentor in my life, I found that I was still not there… the place I was looking to be connected to in education.  He asked me what my goals were and I didn’t have an answer… I had not created any up to that point!  I had hopes and dreams… I had imagined a more powerful way of learning for my students and myself, yet the reality was I had not taken myself serious enough to create a plan… to commit myself to goals.  That was when I jumped into another #twitter chat, and this one called me out on my dreams.  This chat wanted to know more.  Beth Houf and Shelley Burgess, authors of Lead Like A Pirate, questioned what I would be willing to do to make these dreams happen!  This was my moment of truth.  #LeadLAP

I sat down and gave myself goals.  I felt these goals would push me to take risks and continue to ignite my learning along the way.

  1. Create a book study for my colleagues to reignite and nurture their passion for learning/teaching. #tlap
  2. Create a personal website with standards to hold myself accountable for connecting with others and building stronger relationships.
  3. Blog on a regular basis (for me 6-7X/month was huge!)  This past month was the first time in 8 months that I had not achieved that goal.
  4. Enter into #PD that is of value to me and my students.
  5. Create a class website to empower my students to share their voice beyond our four walls.  #30SecondEmpowerPitch
  6. Read ReAD and READ meaningful books that will create a stronger relationship between myself and my profession.
  7. Engage in chats with others around the world to push my thinking.
  8. “Fill buckets” full of thoughts on where I want education to go… create opportunities for all educators and students.
  9. Build a #PD Lending Library for educators to borrow books (This is getting it’s final touches to be ready for red tape ribbon cutting in the fall… thank you Dave and Shelley Burgess)
  10. Host a twitter chat #MasteryChat

Tonight I get to check off my last goal just in time to create new ones!  Thank you to The Grid Method for believing in me and giving me the opportunity to chat about one of my many passions!  Without L.E.G.I.T. Relationships, none of this could have happened! Thank you to my powerful #PLF… my family beyond my four walls.  #tlap #LeadLAP #IMMOOC #MasteryChat #4OCF

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Shout out to my awesome PLF!

 Thanks Mike Mohammad (IMMOOC PLF) for creating the top pic and to Laura Steinbrink (4OCF PLF) for creating the bottom pic!